Nottingham Forest have joined the race for Mainz defender Moussa Niakhate, with West Ham United and Everton also interested.

According to L’Equipe, Moussa Niakhate continues to attract the interest of several Premier League clubs this summer, as Nottingham Forest have joined the chase for the Mainz star. The centre-back is open to leaving the Bundesliga for England, as West Ham United and Everton also retain an interest in the French-born defender.

Moussa Niakhate has gained tremendous experience at the top level after a rather slow start to his senior career. The defender spent much of his time in the lower divisions and only made it to the top tier after his transfer from Valenciennes to Metz five years ago.

His performances for the Ligue 1 side earned him a move to Mainz just one year later, where he has been a regular starter. Last season, Niakhate made 30 league appearances and managed to score four times. He is now understood to be considering leaving German football as attention from English clubs mounts.

Newly-promoted Premier League club Nottingham Forest are the latest side to show an interest, with L’Equipe insisting their interest in Niakhate is strong. West Ham United and Everton are also keen on the French-born centre-back, as each club look to strengthen their backline ahead of the new season.

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Nottingham Forest’s primary objective would be to avoid relegation next season, as many newly-promoted sides have succumbed in their first campaign in the top flight. Taking a lesson from teams such as Norwich and Watford, Steve Cooper will be looking at signings that elevate their overall quality. The problem in chasing Niakhate would be the competition from established Premier League sides.

West Ham have been looking to bring a new defender and seen their name linked to multiple targets. David Moyes is keen to strengthen his backline and wants to add depth in the defensive ranks. Niakhate could be a very good option for the Hammers to consider, for he has the required experience, leadership and physicality to progress in the Premier League.

Everton are also in the market and continue to look for cost-effective options, while also seeking an upgrade in quality. They are also chasing Chancel Mbemba from Porto on a free transfer, although Niakhate could also be considered if the price is right. The 26-year-old has the requisite experience and would add his leadership qualities, having captained Mainz.

Niakhate has one year left on his deal with Mainz, and the club would be open to cashing in on the defender. There’s no mention of a possible price tag for the centre-back, although the French-born star could be available for a knock-down fee.

Nottingham Forest could be a good option, as Niakhate could be a regular starter in the team. However, at West Ham or Everton, there are no guarantees of a regular place in the starting eleven, although the size of those clubs could be enticing for the player.

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